Below you’ll find the transcript for Episode 8 – How to Plan the Content for Your Women’s Ministry Meetings from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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EP 8: How to Plan the Content for Your Women’s Ministry Meetings
Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages (from new to seasoned) serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned. Together we’ll learn to build a flourishing, Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Welcome to episode number eight, how to plan the content of your women’s ministry meetings.
Today we’re unpacking what your team might want to include in your women’s ministry meeting.
First, though, we need to define women’s ministry meetings. A women’s ministry meeting is a meeting fellowship activity, or gathering that you host for the women in your church and community on a regular basis.
You might meet weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, and you might even have a special name for them in your church. While it can be tempting to replicate what another church is doing, we need to ensure our plans reflect God’s plan for the specific women and our specific church.
Women’s ministry meetings are going to look different in every church.
Before we establish WHAT our meeting will include, we need to establish WHY we’re even meeting.
Defining our why will help keep our women’s ministry plans focused on God’s specific plans for our women’s ministry. I think we often get this process backward. We hear a great idea, and then we figure out a way to make it fit our why.
If we want our ministry to have a solid foundation, we need to start with our mission statement. If you need a refresher or haven’t listened, go back to episode four, where we talk all about mission statements. And then in episode five, we determined our theme or our focus for the year.
Our mission plus our scripture focus is our big picture why.
Each meeting should have a more specific goal that falls underneath that umbrella. For example, let’s say your meeting is on prayer. Your goal might be that women will feel more comfortable praying out loud. I want to encourage you to write down the sentence and fill in the blank. After our meeting, women will ________.
How will we reach that goal?
Well, we will reach that by utilizing a specific type of women’s ministry meeting and selecting the right type of content for our women. We covered the five types of women’s ministry meetings in episode number seven. Those were spiritual disciplines, biblical encouragement, practical skills, service, and fellowship focused. I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t already.
What will our time together look like?
In episode one, we talked about Acts 2:42, and that’s a great place to start. It says, “and they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers”. A quick and easy answer would be to include teaching fellowship, food and prayer. I want to expand on that list just a bit.
There are six meeting components I recommend that you include:
At the minimum, I hope that your event has an opening and a closing prayer.
Announcements are other opportunities for your women to grow, serve, and connect. We need to tell them what’s next and other ways that they can plugin.
Icebreakers provide an opportunity for women to connect, to develop deeper relationships, and interact with the women in the room that they may or may not know very well.
We need our women to share stories about what God is teaching them or doing in their lives.
This teaching could be related to the theme or spiritual focus, or it could just be activity directions.
Either through a planned activity, like a craft, a service project, a skill or a workshop, or through small discussion groups. Women want an opportunity to interact with one another. They don’t just want to sit and listen.
Not every women’s ministry meeting is going to look the same. You’re probably going to use a variety of the types of meetings that we talked about in episode seven.
Are you launching or revamping your women’s ministry? Do you struggle to get your women’s ministry team on the same page? My book, Rethinking Women’s Ministry: Biblical, Practical Tools for Cultivating a Flourishing Community, is designed to help women’s ministry leaders and team members prayerfully examine what’s working and what isn’t. As God highlights the areas that need rethinking, you’ll be able to form an action plan that will enable your team to reach more women more effectively and create a community that flourishes. You’ll find Rethinking Women’s Ministry on Amazon, your favorite online retailer, and at womensministrytoolboxshop.com.
What about decorations, door prizes, food, and fellowship?
I didn’t mention any of those things and some of them were in that verse from Acts. I’ve surveyed women that have made it very clear that they desire women’s ministry meetings that are interactive and interesting.
Content always trumps decor.
When it comes to decor, unless it’s a special event, I suggest that you keep it really simple.
And if your budget allows, door prizes that point women towards Christ can be nice, but they’re not necessary. And to be honest, very nice door prizes, distract from the event and can be the source of jealousy among your women.
And so let me just say a word about food. Some of you all can tell by my accent that I live in the South and food is usually a part of all of our church events.
But y’all food is not a necessity and it often encroaches on more important activities.
I have noticed that several churches will invite women to come early or stay after for food served in a different location. I think this is a great idea. For example, women are invited to come at 6:30 for a cupcake bar in the lobby before the event begins at seven.
Fellowship can and should occur during your meeting.
Icebreakers, discussion time after a teaching session, or even just chatting while completing a service project, all provide pockets of fellowship.
Unless you’ve chosen to offer a fellowship-focused meeting, we don’t need to schedule a separate fellowship time. Women who desire additional fellowship will make time to socialize before and after your meeting. You may even need to encourage them to move their discussion into the parking lot so you can turn off the lights and lock the doors. I know I have many times!
To review – the six women’s ministry meeting components are prayer, announcements, icebreakers, testimony, teaching, and interaction.
Start with your why and then work through your how.
Today’s Toolbox Task:
- Determine your meeting goal.
That means looking at that big umbrella of your mission statement and your theme for the year, but also your specific goal or intended outcome for that meeting.
2. Decide which meeting components should be included.
I am praying that the Lord will guide your discussion and help your team to know what best meets the needs of your specific women.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox podcast. Leading in women’s ministry can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! You’ll find support and ideas you can use in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook Group. We’d love for you to join us! Search for us on Facebook or visit womensministrytoolbox.com/groups to access the link. May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may He direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the LORD be apparent to every woman you serve.
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